Sister Goose in the City

The dear and precious sister of Mother Goose flew into town last week for a delightful visit. I have already told the story of our trip to Racine, Wisconsin to visit the “girls”. Today I will begin to tell you the story of how we conquered the whole city of Chicago all in one day.

Sister Bunn comes from the land of 10,000 lakes and ten million mosquitoes. Minnesota’s Iron Range is a beautiful and kind of interesting place to live, but there are a limited number of venues for entertainment and tourism. We have visited the sight of the Hull Rust Mine many times and it’s always wonderful, but at the end of the day, it’s really just another giant hole in the ground…

For our trip into the big city on Sunday, we consulted with my urban-savvy daughter, Jessi. She knows the train and bus routes and schedules, the ways to get around, the must-see sights and of course, how to plan a day. (Did I mention she’s getting her master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy?)

Our tourist guide is on the far right.

Our tourist guide is on the far right.

We boarded the “el” in Oak Park. The “el” is the glamorous nickname uniquely given to the elevated trains which deliver bored commuters and overly excited tourists to various places around the city of Chicago from the unusual vantage point of “above ground”.

Jessi recommended the Green Line for the start of our journey. The Chicago Transit Authority has chosen several warm and friendly colors to identify their elevated train routes: green, blue, orange, pink, red, brown, yellow and of course, purple. Thirty years ago when I was a bored commuter, the trains were not colored, but identified as “A”, “B”, “A-B”, “C”, “D”, and “AC-DC” which was most confusing to Mother Goose after she had enjoyed a couple glasses of wine…

We switched from the Green Line to the Pink Line very easily, and after a scenic loop around the city, we jumped off quite near the front doors of the Willis Tower.

The Willis Tower was originally known as the Sears Tower, but the Sears family decided to move out to the suburbs after a couple decades of occupying this tallest building in the western hemisphere. A little side note that Mother Goose just remembered: when AnnaRose was younger, she would call it The Serious Tower… Isn’t that just cute?

Now I believe that Bruce Willis and his family live there, but they have kept The Skydeck (observation deck) on the 103rd floor open to tourists who don’t mind waiting in line for two hours to experience the most spectacular and magnificent view of the city.

We met so many people and made many friends whilst we stood in line and even rescued a baby who had lost his little yellow sock. Well, actually we just found the little sock and returned it to the baby’s family…and though they were confused about how we knew it was his sock, they were genuinely appreciative.

A few years ago when tourists complained that viewing the city from 1,353 just wasn’t all that thrilling anymore, the Willis family attached four retractable plexi-glass boxes to the western side of the Skydeck where folks can actually step out into a protected space and enjoy the view up, down and all around. Mother Goose has said for years that this kind of an experience is fine for some people, but surely not fine for her, given her irrational fear of flying out into space from any great height.

But yes, indeed, thanks to the persuasive powers of the Sister Goose, I was able to go out on The Ledge. Well, actually she pulled and pushed me out there…



Little Goose and Sister Goose who is dabbing at her tears of joy at conquering The Ledge.

Little Goose and Sister Goose who is dabbing at her tears of joy at conquering The Ledge.

Ben Goose considering the great heights...

Ben Goose considering the great heights…

All of the offspring of the goose enjoyed this trip to the top of the city and out onto the incredible ledge. Talk about a bird’s eye view of Chicago — it was downright FOWL!

Here's the "proof" that we were actually on top of The Willis Tower.

Here’s the “proof” that we were actually on top of The Willis Tower.

Please return to the home of Mother Goose next time when we continue our story of Sister Goose in the City — you will surely smile to hear the story of Sister and The Bean.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bunn
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 10:30:19

    Love it!


  2. jeff noel
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 13:05:19

    Love the ‘Ledge’!!!! 🙂


    • Natalie
      Aug 05, 2013 @ 10:14:57

      The Ledge is amazing! Now when I stand below the tower and look up, I can see people out on the Ledge and I know exactly what they are feeling….and it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it might be.


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